The Phoenix Zoo shelters 1,200 animals within a beautiful 125-acre complex, and it’s a can’t-miss destination for your next vacation in AZ. Plenty of guidebooks and pamphlets are available at the information center, but if you want to dive right into the sightseeing without delay, the best travel tips are all about preparation. You’re about to spend the better part of an afternoon outdoors in Phoenix among the crowds, after all. Here are four ways to make the most of your time.

  1. phoenix zoo travel tipsPlot a course. The Phoenix Zoo is 125 acres in size. That makes it the biggest non-profit zoo in the U.S., so take a minute to look at a map before heading out to see the exotic animals. Plot a route that lets you see everything you want to see, especially if you won’t have time to visit the whole park.

  1. Dress appropriately. You’ll experience some great weather on your vacation in AZ, but in the summer it can get pretty hot, and even the best travel tips won’t save the day if you’re overdressed. So check the weather and dress appropriately. Bring along some good sunblock, and don’t forget your shades.

  1. Plan your meals. The Phoenix Zoo has six dining establishments on the grounds: Cavern Café, Harmony Farm Kitchen, Karibu Café, Safari Snacks, Savanna Grill and Kettle Corn. If you’re planning a full day at the zoo, be sure to bring a few extra bucks for a sit-down meal – or at least enough snacks to carry you through the afternoon.

  1. Look for deals. The Phoenix Zoo isn’t very pricey ($20 for adults, $10 for kids and free for children age two and under), but there’s no reason to pay for a full-price ticket if you can get yourself a deal. Discounts are available at the ticket booths for seniors ($5 off), military personnel ($4 off), students ($3 off), AAA members ($2 off) and zoo members (50% off) and their guests ($2 off).

If you want to get the most out of your day at the Phoenix Zoo – or any attraction here in the Southwest – the best travel tips all involve preparation. Planning your adventures out ahead of time will make your vacation in AZ far more enjoyable, because it will help you do two important things: reduce your stress and maximize your fun. And that’s what the Phoenix Zoo is all about.